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« Morning Thoughts: It's 3am, I Must Be Lonely | Blog Home Page | Andrews Making Surprise NJ Bid »

The Expected CO Poll

Given his lackluster performance in the 2004 Republican Senate primary, many expected that former Rep. Bob Schaffer's bid to replace retiring Senator Wayne Allard would fall similarly flat. Schaffer is assumed to be too far right for the increasingly-Democratic Colorado, and his opponent, Democratic Rep. Mark Udall, has a great name and a fat bank account.

But in poll after poll, Schaffer has trailed Udall by exceedingly small margins, virtually always within the margin of error. In December, Schaffer trailed by two points. In October, the gap was just one point. Was labeling Udall as a Boulder liberal finding success? Is Colorado still a red state? Or is Schaffer manager Dick Wadhams, a former top aide to Virginia Senator George Allen, the next Karl Rove?

A new poll, conducted by a prominent Republican polling firm for the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, finally provides Democrats with the news they wanted to see, as Udall boasts a big lead. The survey, conducted 3/6-9 by McLaughlin & Associates, surveyed 400 registered voters and tested both Udall and Schaffer. The margin of error is 4.9%.

General Election Matchup
Udall 44
Schaffer 32

Before Democrats get too thrilled and claim they are guaranteed to pick up the seat, they might want to wait for a few more surveys to come out. Schaffer has a talented political team, led by Wadhams, and Udall remains well under 50%. But a twelve-point lead is what most Beltway politicos expected to see, and the McLaughlin survey proves that Schaffer, who has trailed in every poll Politics Nation has seen on the race, has a ways to go to climb out of a hole.

The CDW, which sponsored the poll, is a group working to promote secret ballots in union elections. 44% said they would be less likely to support Udall after hearing he opposed private ballots in union elections.